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Three Secrets to Getting a Job in the United States

Lindsay: This is an All Ears English Podcast, Episode 225: “Three Secrets to Getting a Job in the United States.” [Instrumental]

Gabby: Welcome to the All Ears English Podcast, where you’ll finally get real, native English conversation with your hosts, Lindsay McMahon, the ‘English Adventurer’ and Gabby Wallace, the ‘Language Angel’, from Boston, USA.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Today, Kristy, the owner of a fitness company in New York City, will tell us the three things that she looks for in a potential job candidate during an interview and how you can use these tips to get your dream job in the United States.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Do you wanna (want to) speak English with natives, actually speak, get corrected and practice at a time that’s convenient for you and on a flexible schedule, you can do it at iTalki. Go to AllEarsEnglish.com/iTalki. Book your first lesson and you’ll get ten US dollars for free. We have this special deal just for you as an All Ears English listener. Go to AllEarsEnglish.com/i-T-a-l-k-i. Go there now guys.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: Hey, Kristy. How are you today?

Kristy: I’m good. I’m really good. It’s Friday, how are you doing?

Lindsay: Awesome. Kristy, actually, today is Tuesday, but yeah.

Kristy: Tuesday is a good day.

Lindsay: Tuesday’s a good day too. Tuesday is also a good day. What’s your favorite day of the week Kristy?

Kristy: (Um), (uh), I think it’s Sunday because I’ve been just only taking Sundays off, so it’s kind of nice.

Lindsay: Oh! Do you actually take the whole day off on Sunday, (like), do you not check your work email?

Kristy: Oh, I have to check my work email.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristy: But it’s, (um), it’s a day where I actually don’t go in, so I can actually relax a little bit.

Lindsay: Awesome. You have to have that don’t you?

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Aw man.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: You have to have that. Because you, Kristy, are an entrepreneur and I’m an entrepreneur too and I thought that it would be really interesting to do something kind of different today – to talk about what employers in the US look for.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Because, (you know), we have many listeners all over the world and I think some of them are planning to come to the US and to work in one capacity or another.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Now, this is something that could be different in so many different fields, right…

Kristy: (Uhn).

Lindsay: …in different parts of the US, but speaking in really general terms, Kristy, how long have you owned your gym now?

Kristy: Oh, (uh), about – has it – it was April 1st, so that’s about, (um), (si-), (si-), (uh)…

Lindsay: Like six months.

Kristy: Yes.

Lindsay: Yeah, about six months. So you’ve been hiring a lot of people over the last six months, right.

Kristy: Yeah, oh my goodness. Oh my goodness, it’s hard. It’s interesting from, ‘cause (because) from an employer’s perspective, (like) we – I just wanna (want to) find really good people and as a start-up, (you know), maybe we can’t, we can’t offer the same amount of money these [inaudible] compensation as maybe a really, really big company, but we have other benefits. And, (um), they say that when you start a company, it takes – it could almost take five years to really get that core team. (Um), and…

Lindsay: Wow! That’s a long time. So you don’t wanna (want to) waste your time with bad hires.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: So what is a good hire? Let’s just get straight to it. If any of our listeners wanna (want to) work in the US, what are the things that they should try to do or to be in an interview to present themselves. What, what do you look for in interviews?

Kristy: Well, I think that the thing about being an employee is that in a way you have to take on that entrepreneurial attitude that a lot of people have towards their English learning, which is, (you know), they think about what their goals are, they become passionate about it, they take action, (you know), they do things to practice and improve and I guess I call that being (like) proactive. You wanna (want to)…

Lindsay: Proactive.

Kristy: Use that term.

Lindsay: That’s a great word.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Yeah. I think that’s a real – so going after things, being active and seeking out your goals…

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: …reaching for your goals.

Kristy: Yeah. So seeking, so setting goals for yourself and actually taking steps to achieve them. So, instead of just telling your boss, “Hey, (like), I have this idea that if we put up a board outside, we could get new, new clients.” Instead of stopping there, (you know), first the suggestion is great, but being proactive is actually saying, “I wonder what needs to be done next?” instead of waiting for your boss to actually do it. So saying, “Oh, I looked up options for, (um), (uh), pricing options for our board, I checked the zoning codes. (Um), I think we should’ve put it on this side.” So you almost do everything for them until the point they just approve it.

Lindsay: Oh, I see. Know that, that, that’s a dream employee. So, so then if our listeners are going to enter an interview… Kristy: (Uh-hmm).

Lindsay: …with, (uh), an American employer then, in that case, how would they let the employer know that they are a proactive employee?

Kristy: (Um), (uh-huh). Well, it definitely starts with, (um), when they first reach out for an interview and showing up early, doing a lot of confirmations, (you know), doing a ‘thank you’ later. (Um)…

Lindsay: What’s a lot of confirmations? What does that mean?

Kristy: Well, I – so that’s a good question. So if the employer, possible employer, (uh), emails them and says, “Okay, why don’t we meet this time?” – getting back to them quickly…

Lindsay: Oh!

Kristy: …saying, “Oh, okay, [unintelligible stuttering], doing an additional reminder, “Hey, I’m looking forward to our interview today.” Just (kind of) showing that that’s your style of communication and they’ll…

Lindsay: (Uhn).

Kristy: …they’ll be more confident in you.

Lindsay: Absolutely. I like that a lot. And I also hire people, (um), on my team for my other company, English and Culture, and I really like it when people do that Kristy…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …when they email me the morning of the interview or the day before and they say, “Hey, just wanted to let you know, I’m really looking forward to meeting with you this afternoon. And here’s my resume once again, and here’s an additional thing.”

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: (Right), so that really shows a (differ-), a drive.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Hey, guys. We’re gonna (going to) take just a minute here to thank our sponsors.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: I was talking with one of our All Ears English listeners the other day and he was telling me that he has already booked at least 100 lessons with different teachers on iTalki. He has had a chance to practice with different accents, different native speakers, and he’s met lots of friends on the site. He’s been using it for about two years. And that’s why at All Ears English, we recommend iTalki if you guys are looking for a solution to practice your English from home online, easily, and to enjoy your English learning experience. So, go to www.AllEarsEnglish.com/iTalki. You can book your first lesson and then iTalki will give you ten US dollars for free to go towards your next lesson. We’ve worked out this special deal just for All Ears English listeners. So go over and get it now at AllEarsEnglish.com/i-T-a-l-k-i.

Lindsay: And Kristy, what’s the opposite of being proactive? So if you’re not proactive, what are you?

Kristy: Like passive.

Lindsay: Yeah, kind of passive, right.

Kristy: Yeah. (Sort of) like letting things happen and not taking any action, not saying anything.

Lindsay: Yeah, not taking personal responsibility…

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: …not taking an interest in the company’s success…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …right?

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah. Okay. That’s awesome. So that’s one thing.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Let’s, let’s try to see if we can get three things that employers, in your opinion, Kristy, look for in the US. So being proactive is one. What’s number two?

Kristy: Well, I (ca-), I think for me, what I’ve seen is really important is being positive, (uh), (kind of) just having a positive can-do attitude, always showing a faith and support for the vision of the entrepreneur and the business. (Um), and that’s – I think that’s really appreciated because I think people can tend to be negative or complain and it’s like everyone in the end wants to work with people they like.

Lindsay: Yeah, I like that. I think that’s really key and I wonder how, (um), how that’s different in other cultures because I know that in American culture we have – often our culture values this positive attitude: smiling and being upbeat and being, being positive and I don’t know if it’s the same abroad. Actually, I would like to know.

Kristy: (Uhn).

Lindsay: So I would like you guys to come to AllEarsEnglish.com/225. This is (i-), Episode 225 and let us know if that positive attitude is something that employers in your country also look for. But I agree Kristy, when I hire my tutors, I also really want a positive attitude. I want someone who people wanna (want to) be around.

Kristy: (Uhn), (uh-huh). Yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah.

Kristy: Yeah, definitely.

Lindsay: Yeah. How ‘bout (about) number three?

Kristy: Okay. For me, number three would probably be (like) communication. (Um), so (i-i), I guess it relates to being proactive and being positive. (Um), but it’s so, it’s very specific in that as you do things, as you get projects done, as you make progress, it’s – most, most organizations, they’re a lot more chaotic than we’d like to think. (You know), this is a new [crosstalk] new project and it’s, if the (per-), if there’s somebody on the team who keeps the communication going, like, “Hey, this is what we’re doing just to keep you updated,” (um), it just really means a lot to the boss, the owner. Like, “Oh, okay.” They’re (kind of) in the loop without having to ask for it, and, (um), (you know)… So it’s really helpful.

Lindsay: Yeah. I like that. At your workplace, do you guys use any interesting tools? For example, we’ve started using, at All Ears English, we’ve started using Asana, which is a project management tool.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: (Uh), do you use any of these tools?

Kristy: Yeah. I’ve been using Asana. That’s been great. That’s been helpful. (Um)…

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Kristy: …email’s still really great. Google Chat.

Lindsay: (Uh-huh).

Kristy: And, (um), maybe, (you know), some other Google documents. (Um), I don’t know if – I think there’s always like a better way. (Like) I think we haven’t mastered it. (Like) it’s – I think that’s why they came out with (like), Yammer and Yammer is supposed to be like a Twitter for companies and that just kind of blew up.

Lindsay: Oh. Interesting. I didn’t know about Yammer.

Kristy: Yeah, it’s really interesting how helpful it is to know what people are doing at that exact second. (Like), working on this because it, it’s just, (you know), the just-in-time theory. I don’t know if you’re [inaudible].

Lindsay: But yes. I – what is the just-in-time theory? Maybe that will be – well, maybe we’ll do another episode on that but if you wanna (want to) quickly let our audience know what the just-in-time theory is, that would be great.

Kristy: I think it came about – because before management thought – [inaudible] ideas of management was you planned everything out. And then you, you just (fol-), you executed a plan. (Um), you planned inventory out and then you just thought what you planned out. (Um), you planned to do certain things, and then you did them, but as we – (I mean), even big organization realize that they can save thousands of dollars by more waiting to the last minute figuring out what they just need and getting it just in time.

Lindsay: (Uhn). So planning is out the window.

Kristy: Yeah, yeah.

Lindsay: I like that because now that we’re using the internet, it’s just possible to become so overwhelmed and to never get started on a project because we think that we have to learn everything before we get started.

Kristy: (Uh-huh). Yeah, and the fact of the matter is with things changing so fast for the internet and life, (uh), the way, the way the world is, is that things change where a plan that you made yesterday will most likely need to be updated today. So, (um), (like), I think communication in a workplace, (um), really helps and makes, (er-), everyone to make better decisions.

Lindsay: Yeah, absolutely. So I like your three most, most important qualities here. So they’re being proactive…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …(um), being positive and being a communicator, letting the boss know what’s going on. And I wanna (want to) add one thing…

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: …to that, one of my ideas. (Um), I’ve been doing a lot of interviewing lately too and I think one thing that I, (uh) – well, self-starter is being proactive. That’s just another way that we could call a proactive person is a self-starter…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …right. (Um), but a giver, someone who believes in the vision of the company.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: So what’s your vision for your gym, Kristy?

Kristy: Ah. That’s a big one. (Uh), well, (I mean), my long-term vision for the gym is to be a place online and offline of exercise classes and (um), workshops and coaching for the, our most fulfilled life which I believe begins with health and then ends with as Maslow Hierarchy’s of Needs, which we can go into another time. [inaudible], (you know), of fulfilling your, (um), potential. So, that’s – I guess. That’s a very vague way to say what our goal is.

Lindsay: So… that’s okay. So your vision – so maybe I can reframe it. So creating a space where – I guess, it’s, is it mostly women, is it a women’s gym?

Kristy: Yes, it’s a women’s gym.

Lindsay: Okay. So creating a space where women can come to start with feeling good on their, on, with, about their bodies…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …to get in good physical shape and therefore that idea kind of spreads out to the mental space and the emotional space. Is that the general idea?

Kristy: Yeah. That’s the, that’s the, the whole mantra behind this.

Lindsay: Okay. So do you feel like you – have you – (you know), when someone walks into your office for an interview…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …you wanna (want to) know that they understand your vision…

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: …that they buy into your vision, right…

Kristy: Exactly.

Lindsay: …to buy into, to believe it…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …right.

Kristy: (Uh-huh). Yeah. Exactly. I’m totally on the same page, which is why (like) I was, I was saying, (um), (like) positive, so positive, not just in general, but positive in supporting the vision, yeah.

Lindsay: Yeah. Yeah. I think that ties in with that too. An, an employee who, they themselves believe, they believe in that vision, that that’s gonna (gong to) help them stay longer with your company because they also agree and they… it means something to them.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: It’s not just collecting a paycheck.

Kristy: (Uh-huh). Yeah, yeah.

Lindsay: Awesome.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Okay. So there you go guys. So those are the three or four things. One more time, we’ll just let you know what they are.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Being proactive…

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: …being positive and agreeing or believing in the vision of the company.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: First of all, what, you wanna (want to) know the vison of the company before you walk into the interview obviously.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: And also being a good communicator. That is what Kristy, as an employer, an American employer values.

Kristy: (Uh-huh).

Lindsay: Kristy, any final points you wanna (want to) make?

Kristy: Yeah. I wanna (want to) say that I think that as long as you have a very positive can-do attitude and you’re just, you’re really trying and you’re going after it and you’re showing it to them in those and you, and you do it specifically through [unintelligible] through those three ways, I think you can really excel. (Um), I think we sometimes underestimate, (um), how far we can go with our own talents, but

Lindsay: (Uhn).

Kristy: …or, (like), I guess we assume, “Oh there’s so many other people, the employer could hire anybody,” and maybe we don’t try as hard as we could. But if we show that employer that we really like their vision, we… we’re really there and we’re gonna (going to) go 110%, a lot of them will take a chance on you, so, (you know), really show that effort to your employer or your potential employer and I think you could get some really cool jobs.

Lindsay: There you go. You have the secret to getting a job in the United States.

Kristy: Yeah.

Lindsay: Great. Okay, Kristy. Thank you so much for joining us today. We really appreciate your time. You’re a busy employer, you’re the boss in your gym. You gotta (got to) get back to your, (um), to, to, to working with your employees there.

Kristy: Yeah. Thanks for having me Lindsay. It was so much fun.

Lindsay: Thanks so much Kristy.

Kristy: Thanks.

[Instrumental]

Lindsay: If you wanna (want to) put your ears into English more often, be sure to subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on your computer or on your smartphone. Thanks so much for listening and see you next time.

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